field trip

On Wednesday, the last day of the conference, we went to the Port of Antwerp on a field tour. We visited PSA’s Noordzee Terminal and the Katoen Natie logistics facilities.

I’ve already be at PSA’s, thus the most impressive for me was Katoen Natie. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed indoors.

the job is done

The audience was big, good and kind. One of the parallel sessions was in French, which meant many people joined the remaining two, mine included.

I managed to do it on time and passing the message I had: my early stages of research, with the problem and the sketch of the research methodology to tackle it.

It was my first presentation of a scientific paper and that already leaves me happy enough. Better still, I manage to interest a few people about my subject and networked with a lot more, who already gave me hints and tips for further development.

Now I’m looking forward to working harder and presenting the follow-up – which will be the buildup, if I think in terms of thesis research.

The job is done. Now it’s time for strolling, enjoying the city and having a De Koninck.


Arrived yesterday. All is set: the power-point is finished, mock presentations have been tried (not yet on time, but there are some hours left), the way to the university was found and tested.

Although the conference starts tomorrow, the session I was scheduled to is only on Tuesday, which gives me an extra day for preparation, mingle, and improve my know-how for these occasions.

On the tourism side, it’s great being back to Antwerp, a city I really like. It’s be warm and sunny and I wonder what I will do with all these winter clothes that pack my suitcase.


I’ve been working on the presentation for the WCTRS-SIG2 conference “Key Developments in the Port and Maritime Sector” and I’ve finally finished and submitted it. It will be 10 nervous minutes, plus five for discussion. Now I must prepare myself for delivering it.

I said “nervous” but I realize I’m seldom nervous during presentations. I am when I’m drafting and preparing the presentation, I am even more when the date approaches but once I’m doing it, I’m doing it. At the end I’ll see whether I messed up or not.

This has the added difficulty of being my first presentation of a scientific paper, but I hope my previous experiences at academia can help me.

I’ll depart to Antwerp in Saturday and my presentation slot is scheduled for Tuesday morning. I’ll try to come back here before that.

wctr 2013 rio

A strike of luck made me know (on time) about the abstract submission period for the 13th WCTR. I knew the conference would take place next year in Rio de Janeiro, but I was not aware the abstract submission deadline would be so soon as today. Anyway, I found it some days ago on the Facebook group Transport Planning and Analysis and decided to counter-challenge my supervisor (he had challenged me for the conference in Antwerp next month) for a co-authored paper about my PhD topic. This time I managed to draft the abstract in a more confident and right-to-the-point way, which I hope will help me when it comes to acceptance time…

The idea is the same with the Antwerp conference: using these opportunities for testing, with a large and informed audience, my progress, ideas and paths. The paper should be build on the paper written for Antwerp and on the work plan designed for my PhD research. This also has the added advantage of serving as intermediate deliverables with a fixed deadline, something of the utmost importance in a period my job is draining a lot of time and energy from me and I must use all tactics to focus and make the most out of my freetime. Let’s see if it works.

conference paper

Is is being a busy end of the year. Not content enough with research proposals submission and discussion presentation, today I accepted a challenge from my supervisor, proposing presenting a paper for WCTRS-SIG2’s conference on “Key Developments in the Port and Maritime Sector”. It will be held in Antwerp between May 21st and 23rd, 2012.

At the same time, it will be good to keep track of time and make me work with defined deadlines.

article of the day

“Maritime Transportation: Drivers for the Shipping and Port Industries”
by Jean-Paul Rodrigue
OECD/ITF, International Transport Forum 2010, Forum Papers, 2, 2010

This article was already queueing for same time and that was a mistake. It’s a very good article introducing the main drivers of change in the transport system and, building on that, suggesting some emerging patterns for maritime transport.